CD Review: Country Line Strangers — Heartbreak Motel

CountryLineStrangersHeartbreak Country Line Strangers
Heartbreak Motel

By Eileen Tilson

Lead singer Matt Megrue needs to take up unfiltered
Camels and Jeremiah Weed straight out of the bottle. His vocals are too smooth
for the intentions of the band; in fact, his lyrics bring you to places you have
definitely been… middle school dances, seedy bars and rural Ohio wedding
receptions at the county fairgrounds.

Heartbreak Motel is a varied mix
of shuffle/step slow dance tracks like “Savannah” (makes you wish it was your
name) and the semi-whiney “Love is the Hardest Thing” combined with hypnotic
ballads like “Insomnia City,” which draws clear memories of Mazzy Star’s and The
Sundays’ renditions of “Wild Horses.”  “Let Me Let You Go” loses focus when the
lyrics and tempo clash; however, there are more likable songs on this album than
not.

“Insomnia City” showcases the communing of Megrue’s range with the band’s
integrity. If only the band members possessed the empirical and vital grit they
write about, the allusions to Jesus might be more believable and less
comfortable. However, don’t take the familiar sounds of Kevn Kinney, Mike
Ness and the Drive By Truckers as a rip-off; Heartbreak Motel is far
more a tributary collection to some very respectable influences.

Country Line Strangers
will be playing the Virginia Highlands Sumerfest this Sunday, June 7 with Ponderosa, Constellations, and Manchester Orchestra

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